Why Won't These Kids Listen?
The question isn’t why won’t these kids listen. A better question, "Am I as prepared as I could be?" A lot of times, the weeks when things just seem to be off for me (and for volunteers), is when the leaders aren't as prepared as they could be. I'm a big believer that 90% of discipline problems are the fault of the person in charge. Not 100%, but 90%. If I am not prepared, and if I'm running around, I'm scrambling, if things aren't set up, the kids don't just sit there quietly waiting on me to get the next thing ready, do they? I mean I'm just asking for discipline problems.
So, wrong question to ask, "Why won't these kids listen?" Right question to ask, "Am I as prepared as I could be?" Now, it’s not to say that you can't have an off-week when you're prepared because you can. I believe it's true 90% of discipline problems are the fault of the person in charge, because either you're boring or you're not prepared, or the kids know what's coming next way too much. It's just kind of ho-hum. Then, really it's not as much the kids' fault as it is my fault.
By the way, if you work with early childhood kids, I think that knowing what's coming next is important for them. They need to have that structure. They need to know what's coming next. They need to know from this group to this group to this group to this group. But, you get into 8, 9, 10, 11, 12-year olds, if they know exactly what's coming next, week after week after week after week, it's not going to work in your benefit. The key, especially with these elementary kids and these t'weens is to keep them guessing at what's coming next. Keep that element of surprise!
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